Translation and editing: Team Foxsunes
That man doesn’t notice it. Even though the hero cares so much for him as a friend. Even though the princess relies on him so much, albeit her bad-mouthing him. Even though he is being looked over and supported by Commendatore like his own younger brother. Even though he is being admired by the youth Widnicol so much, as his one and only mentor. He doesn’t notice any of it and chooses only me over everything. He probably doesn’t even think about how cruel it is to make a decision in such a way.
「Say, Filmina. You really haven’t heard from Agedilus?」
I shook my head at her question. It wasn’t that I hadn’t heard anything, but I couldn’t accept that answer as his answer. Even though I was the one who told him to trust Lucius, I was unable to say anything decisive.
I don’t understand, I don’t know if the answer that’s best for me is going to be the best for him or not. That’s why I can’t tell that man what I want to do. I don’t want to tell him no matter what, until he finds his answer. Perhaps, I am just scared at the end of the day, since I feel like my decision is going to be a selfish decision and would not turn out to be the best for Edi. This is something that he needs to decide, and I’d be able to choose what I want by that time for sure. Until then though, I just want a little time to ponder. Whether we stay here or move to the neighboring nation, I only have one unchanging desire.
* * *
And just like that, my tea party with the princess came to an end. It was quite obvious that I was lost in thought and at the end of the party, I made not only the princess but also everyone else concerned about me. It’s quite a shame that I made people younger than me worry about me, my mental age must be lower than them.
I returned home while reflecting upon my disgraceful conduct and when I was done with the preparation of dinner, that man came back to the mansion as if he had calculated the timing.
「Welcome back, Edi. You must be tired. How was your day?」
「I would say it was good, but then again I couldn’t work today. Lucius reacted to everything I did so I couldn’t concentrate on my work.」
「Oh my, is that so.」
It didn’t surprise me much, since I had seen it coming from the moment he went to work along with Lucius. The man is speaking as if he is 『Fed up with everything』 but his voice doesn’t even have an ounce of spite, which is a surprising thing. He probably enjoyed interacting with the youth, contrary to how he is saying things. Ah, this made me want to trust that youth even more.
I took the black robe that he wore off while observing his expression that had slightly softened, that was when I realized that there was something odd. The person that should exist behind the man wasn’t there. 「Say, Edi? Isn’t Lucius-sama with you?」
I thought that if they had gone out together then they should’ve returned together too, but nor the shape neither the shadow of Lucius could be seen. I tilted my head, wondering what could have happened. The man squinted at me for an unknown reason, and the scar beneath his left eye stretched. It’s a slight change that shows when he isn’t in a good mood.
「The ambassador called him somewhere in the middle of the tour. He was instructed to report things frequently when he met him the previous day. Quite a bit of trouble for him.」
「My, what about the dinner then……」
「We can have dinner first, but he wants you to save some dinner for him. 」
「Fufu, Lucius-sama is quite smooth.」
Good, good, this aunty will give her best now. I even feel generous enough to add a simple dish to his dinner. I muttered 「But even so」while thinking of ingredients in the storeroom, does Lucius who is usually participating in salon and tea parties of nobility or roaming around the palace with this man have an obligation to 『report things frequently』to that ambassador, Gabriel regarding his daily conduct? Even though the youth hasn’t come to our country for the sake of sightseeing, and if I am told that this is how things are then it would be the end of the story, but there is something odd about this. Maybe Edi squinted because he found it odd too. But then there wasn’t a way that I could affirm it as we headed towards having dinner together as usual.
A few hours passed after that, but there were no signs of Lucius returning, and we couldn’t possibly go to bed before the guest. So, the man and I passed our time sitting on the sofa in the living room, waiting for Lucius to return. The man was turning the pages of the grimoire, while I was reading the history book of the Empire that I had borrowed from the National Library the previous day. The man seems to be focused on reading, but contrary to that my eyes were just sliding over the pages. I like reading and I can brag that I have read more than the young ladies here and there, but I can’t focus on reading in the current situation.
To be honest, it’s boring. It really is boring. It was my fault that I picked a detailed book. It has stuff regarding the history of prostitution and things regarding diplomacy with the neighboring countries, which is a good thing, but it has too many details. As I read on, I vividly felt Morpheus approaching me, step by step by step. I let out a deep sigh, closed the history book, and to keep myself awake, I took a sip from herbal tea I made.
「Filmina? What happened?」
「It’s nothing, I’m just a bit tired…..」
I couldn’t possibly tell him that the book I borrowed myself was a bit difficult and I couldn’t read it, that’s a bit difficult to say. I have my pride as a person being born in a house that deals with books. Unfortunately, though, the man seemed to have seen through such useless pride of mine. The man’s sunrise-tinted eyes glanced at the thick history book on my knee for a short moment, and he went silent for a while. Then, he snapped his fingers.
I exclaimed impulsively, and there appeared a book in the man’s hands. The man handed over the book to me, it was far lighter than the history book on my knee.
「Read this book.」
「Eh, ah, o, ok.」
As a reflex I accepted the book, my eyes blinked when I read the title.
The title was branded with silver on the deep scarlet book cover, 『Nerogrant Empire Chronicles.』Below that a battleax and a longsword were crossed, surrounded by lightning – the emblem of the neighboring country. When I skimmed lightly through the contents, the detailed and difficult written history of the neighboring country like in the previous book was composed entirely of easy sentences like those of a simple novel.
Even looking at it with a glance, I thought it was seemingly an interesting book, not only as a mere history book, but also as regular reading material.
This was exactly the kind of book that I was looking for.
「Ehm, this is…?」
I noticed that the man had gone back to reading the grimoire again, and to my query, he glanced at me and murmured something in a faint voice.
「Pardon?」Since I couldn’t quite hear it, I asked again and the man finally raised his head and looked in my direction. Hm? Is it just me or his face seems red?
「Like I said, Lucius gave me that book as a souvenir.」
「Yeah. It is a history book that got published recently in Nerogrant, it’s popular amongst the young people too. He chose it because it hasn’t been released in Valgentum yet. It was passed over to me today at the lab when Widonichol was called by the princess.」
It seemed like he couldn’t seize the right moment to hand me the book until then, the man continued. I was reminded by his words that I hadn’t told him that I too was called by the princess, and had a tea party with her along with the hero and his companions. Should I, or should I not tell him now? The conclusion came quite quickly. It seems like a bothersome thing to do, so I decided on the latter. It would be quite a pain if he feels left out and sulks. He wouldn’t understand, even if I told him that he was far from being left out, rather he was the center of our conversation.
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